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INTERVIEW: Best team performance of the season

28 August 2015

Mark Gillespie on the QPR Capital One Cup victory

Goalkeeper Mark Gillespie spoke to us ahead of the Thursday morning training session about the QPR victory and the Liverpool game.

"I think that was the best team performance of the season so far," he said. "We've played well in spells during the first few games but I think over the 90 minutes on Tuesday night we were excellent. Despite some of the things I've read I think we deserved to be in the hat for the next round.

"I think it was probably my best personal performance of the season as well. I made a couple of good saves in the second half which I was pleased with, but it's a shame I didn't get the clean sheet."

"The shot that brought their goal was hit quite well," he told us. "I got a hand to it and I maybe could have stopped it. It came through Michael Raynes' legs at the last second, which didn't help, but apart from that I thought I played well.

"The shot came from quite far out and there was a couple of lads in my eye line. It nipped through Raynesy's legs at the last second which made it even more difficult.

"I was disappointed at the time but I was able to make up for it with a couple of saves in the second half. The most important thing was we got the win, so we're really pleased."

"It was disappointing to concede so soon after we'd scored," he admitted. "One of the oldest sayings in football is that you're most vulnerable after you've scored. It was a decent strike but we regrouped and got to half time.

"We didn't let it affect us in the second half and although they had a few chances, so did we. We hit the bar and had the header cleared off the line so I don't think you can say we robbed the win. We went there and put in a really good away performance." 

On the way the team has started the new campaign, he said: "At times we've passed the ball around really well without having that overall performance. We got that from everyone on Tuesday. 

"I thought we were brilliant at keeping the ball when we needed to keep it and we got it forward when we needed to. Derek [Asamoah] ran his socks off for us upfront and he was a real threat. Every department played really well.

"I think there were maybe some extra nerves going into the game. When you go to a bigger stadium to play in a match with a bigger profile nerves will come with that.

"It's a different type of nerves because you just don't want to let yourself down. I don't think we showed any nerves, we imposed ourselves on the game and we looked a very good team."

"I turned around to the away fans after Derek scored and it's fantastic to have that backing," he said. "They follow us all over the country and to have nearly 500 fans there on a Tuesday night is unbelievable.

"They've got their rewards with the Liverpool game. That's for those fans who go to Plymouth and Mansfield and places like that. We're all looking forward to that but we've got four important games before then.

"It's obviously our first win in 90 minutes so I think that will give the lads a lot of confidence. We'll go to Hartlepool and play the same way. We'll look to score goals and win the game.

"Results are a big factor but performances do give you confidence. When I'm in goal watching the lads pass it around and create chances it gives me confidence because I know, if we keep it tight at the back, we'll go on and win the game. I'm sure those lads will look back and know that if the defenders are doing an honest job they'll go and score a goal.

"Everyone believes in each other and believes we're onto something good if we can get the consistency. That’s been the problem in the past, so that's what we need to focus on."

On the draw for the next round of the Capital One Cup, he said: "I think after Newcastle away Liverpool away would have been one of my next choices. Going to Anfield with the history of the place will be fantastic, so we're all looking forward to it.

"I was with my dad when the draw was made and I just turned and told him we'd got Liverpool away. It's one of those where you just laugh because it will be such a good experience.

"The game is a month away so we've got to put it to the back of your mind. We've got some important games between now and then.

"In my experience a lot can change in a month in football so we've got to focus on the next game. When it does come it will be a fantastic occasion for the club, for the fans and for us a group of players. I think playing at Anfield will top my debut at Norwich. When it comes down to it I'm sure it will be one to remember."

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